Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Private Arcadia

See the couples dancing
To flute and violin
Aren't you rather jealous that you
can't come in?

A world of pleasure and privilege
elegant, elite
A private Arcadia
Where life is sweet.

Arcadia; the mystical Greek mountain refuge . One of the birthplaces reported for Zeus is Mount Lycaeum in Arcadia.

It was also said to be the birthplace of Zeus' son Hermes.

Arcadia was a rustic secluded area and its inhabitants symbolized the simple pastoral life and may refer to some imaginary idyllic paradise immortalized by Virgil's Eclogues. The area was conquered and reconquered and after 400. years of Ottoman occupation it became the center of the Greek War of Independence.

Along with its reference by Harnick and Boch there are dozens of references in pop culture. Arcadia was a band created as a project by the 80's band Duran Duran. In a Doctor Who episode the Doctor mentions being "there at the fall of Arcadia, in the video game BioShock, "Arcadia" is the name of an area in one of the levels, with an artificial forest touted as a vacation paradise. In the film 300 Leonidas is joined by a group of Arcadians to help him fight the Persians. There is a militaristic empire known as Archadia in Playstation 2 Game Final Fantasy. You'll see references to Arcadia in The X Files, The Legend of Zelda, the game Battle of Olympus, Stardust Classics children's fantasy novels and the list goes on.

In 1772, the private Arcadia in the Rothschild's was a reference to the pampered, privileged lives of the aristocratic court; costly clothes, carefree lives, pampered faces, fragrant powdered and scented figures, "the gay and gilded sphere."


Bridgette Redman said...

When I was pregnant, Richard really liked the name "Arcadia" for a girl. however, we came across the "simple, pastoral" definition and thought that might be tough on a kid.

Katie said...

Yay! I'm so glad your show blog is back!!! I love reading all your fascinating facts. Miss ya and see you in a week.